Posts tagged - messy play

The Babyhuddle Play carnival

Hello party people! Got your whistles and horns? Wearing short shorts and waving your flags? Then join the line, it’s carnival time! Rum punch in the bowl on your left, fill up your water bottle (What? That’s not water? Oh Ok, mixers on the right) and turn up the stereo ’cause it’s party time!

New here? Wondering what’s going on? No, we’re not serving alcohol to the kids – today I am hosting the Babyhuddle Play Carnival. Here’s where you can get some great ideas on how to entertain the kids, come rain or shine. I am very happy to be hosting this carnival, as I blogged recently about how outdoor play always trumps indoor activity for Mushroom and I. This is still true today, however, I now have some great ideas for the next time we’re stuck indoors – we’ll never be bored again.

So, let me introduce the real hosts of this party:

Filling up at the punch bowl we have Rachel McClary over at Right from the start. Rachel asks  Do children need toys? Her experience when she first arrived in the US reminded her of the importance of not only using household objects for play but also trusting children to use real things around the home rather than ‘child friendly’ versions. Rachel also blogs about messy play both indoors and out, explaining Why playing with mud is good for children and how she disovered that Making muddy footprints isn’t always easy. Indoor ideas include playing with shaving foam – an idea from her daughter! and playing with ice – a great idea, especially in the summer months when it can also cool down overheated toddlers (I will be trying this out if the weather ever improves!)

Over there on the danecfloor is Tami Anderson from Mummy of two who asks whether playing with your kids is boring or fun? If you’re leaning towards boring, perhaps a session of messy play with Rainbow spaghetti could change your mind…

To her left is Leyla Brooke from This day I love. Leyla has some great examples of proper messy messy play (be prepared for a big clean up but it’s worth it for the fun you’ll have!)… We’re loving play with  Sand (yes, indoors!), home-made strawberry scented Play dough (watch they don’t eat it) and she shows us how to make snow any time of year for Indoor snow fun. Less messy play includes a special Jewellery box (I have copied this idea already as Mushroom is always in my jewellery box – now he has his own!) and Playing outside before lunch.

Standing in the far corner waving at you (yes, you!) is Jessica McGlynn from Catch a single thought. Jessica shares some ideas for Spring play – water and bubbles are always winners in our house – and as for the ribbon, I want one of those! I’m sure there’s a Poundland near me… Jessica also writes about not so messy messy play (so suits me perfectly) with tissue paper. Simple but so much fun!

Behind Jessica is Emma Louise Garrett from The Mini Mes and Me. Emma talks about the importance of making time to play to help our children’s development and links up with some great ideas including rock pets, cellophane window decorations and more shaving foam – this time with colour! Also talking about making time to play is Eileen Teo from ET Speaks From Home, who shows us how to make some cute masks with a video starring her lovely kids.

Finally, if you head to the kitchen you’ll find Louise Fairweather brewing A Strong Coffee… Louise gives us an another alternative to snow that’s available all year round snow – crazy (foaming) soap!

So… Now that you’ve met everyone, why not join us? Fill that bottle with rum punch and hit the dancefloor, or head into the kitchen for tea/coffee and a chat? If you have any more ideas for keeping the little ones entertained when we all get home, do share them below! As we all know, it’s the guests who make the party so let’s keep this carnival going all week!


Indoor vs Outdoor play

I have a confession to make… I’m not keen on indoor play. Messy or otherwise. There, I said it. I know it’s as important for development as getting outside and getting plenty of exercise and fresh air but to be honest at the moment I am finding it kind of boring… Maybe it’s Mushroom’s age (and short attention span), or maybe it’s the fact that we’ve been stuck indoors quite a lot lately when it’s supposed to be spring – we were even forced home from the park last week due to hailstones. Hailstones! Neither Mushroom or I were happy about that.

I do try – we use indoor play time to work on learning colours, letters and numbers (here’s a handy list of toys to help with the numbers). We also play pretend with whatever we have to hand – and I am actually rather fond of playdoh as we can have fun ‘baking’ without the calories… (We used to bake a lot more. Then my clothes started to get a little tight. I am not good at baking without sampling the spoils!). We do a little messy play with different textures (pasta, jelly), colouring, drawing and quite a lot of sticking… The thing is, after about 20 minutes of any of these activities, I’m as bored as Mushroom is! The only thing that hold both our attention for longer is building lego/duplo towers, playing with cars and trucks (yes, I do really enjoy this!) baking an actual cake and dancing. But we’re getting a bit fed up with these activities on rotation…

Colouring with different coloured chalks

I think the problem really is that we’d both just rather be outside. As long as it’s not raining (or hailstone-ing – if that’s a word?), then it puts him in a better mood, makes me feel more awake and tires him out enough that we can actually kind of enjoy a quieter indoor activity in the evening. Today, for instance, we are heading to a local city farm, which we are both very excited about. It’s sunny, we’ll be outside, we get to see lots of animals and play in the park. You just can’t beat all that with any indoor activity (feel free to challenge this! I’d be interested in your comments!).

I’m pretty sure I just need to think of some new indoor activities to freshen things up a bit but here at Mushroom Mansions (no, not really. I wish!), just saying ‘ Let’s go outside,’ can stop a tantrum in it’s tracks. So when it comes to indoor vs. outdoor play for us? No competition.

We love a good climbing frame

What about you? Are you the outdoorsy types or do you prefer to chill out indoors? If indoor play is your thing, what kind of activities are always guaranteed to entertain?

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